When Scott Seibert stepped away from the piano in junior high, he had no intention of returning to the keys, nor did he imagine that as an adult, he would be working toward a full-fledged career that would see him once again at the piano. A musician pursuing a double major in jazz performance and jazz composition at the University of Utah, Seibert founded local band Piggett in the summer of 2016.
The band performs at Metro Music Hall this Wednesday.
“[Our music] is a lot different from most local bands,” Seibert said. “It’s musically interesting, but it is also really accessible. The vocals are really easily understood. The lyrics are simple but catchy, and people can identify with them. You can hear everything that’s going on — our stuff is really refined and each person has a good part in the band that doesn’t sound chaotic.”
With Slick Velveteens, The Artificial Flower Company, Speechless Peaches
When • Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Where • Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City
Tickets • Free
Seibert, who composes about 80 percent of the band’s songs, says that for Piggett, having an interest in and an understanding of music theory concepts and practices makes composing poppy jazz songs inspired by everyday experiences — often speaking to the bigger theme of love — a more seamless process.
“[Music theory] makes everything go a lot easier and quicker. I could bring a song and write out chords and show them to my band, and since they know how the music works really well, they are able to make up their part really fast,” Seibert said. “We can learn new songs really easily that way. If our songs need work, then we can all work on our songs together because we all know what we are doing in that sense.”
Seibert met three of his bandmates in the music program at Salt Lake Community College over two years ago. After getting to know one another in class, Seibert, saxophonist Michael Payne, bassist George Sevey and guitarist Moises Sanchez decided that the group should get together outside the classroom and onto local stages. Seibert recruited longtime friend Toren Wallengren to play drums, and Piggett was official.
In the year and a half since their formation, the group members who met at SLCC graduated from the program and work day jobs ranging from real estate to finance customer support to driving a pedicab. After working hours, Piggett has networked with more established musicians in the local scene to build a fanbase and earn more gigs.
“The new people I have met have been really cool and accepting,” Seibert said of working with other local bands. “Everybody around is really passionate about what they are doing. Most people are in it because they love doing music.”
Piggett’s love for making music has the band looking toward a future of more shows, a debut album, and for Seibert, a hobby that has evolved into a full-time career involving his skills in music theory.
“I like what jazz teaches me about music in general: how to write music and how I can apply it to my own songs, even if they are not necessarily jazz,” he said. “It teaches you really in-depth how chords can function and which chords can move to the next ones and how to write good melodies and add chords to those melodies that you have written. I use what I know to help me write my songs. It helps for transition from a verse to a chorus or a bridge if you know how your music is functioning in the context of the song. Like how each section can sound different from one another but all tied together.”
Piggett has enough music written to begin recording a full-length album and plans to record a studio album within the next year. Until then, the members have raw recordings on their Bandcamp page and continue to introduce their music to the local scene. Seibert says that though he hopes to take his songwriting skills to the realm of video games and beyond, he is excited for what the future holds for Piggett in Salt Lake.
“I see the band staying relatively local and building up a name in Salt Lake, and being able to play pretty much anything whether it’s our own show or a wedding or something that requires cover songs,” he said. “I see us playing a lot of shows around town and hopefully making ourselves a good name around here so we can play wherever we want.”